Disagreement over tax breaks for Sullivan casino projects
Toward the end of the discussion, Ira Cohen, the county treasurer, said there were legitimate issues on both sides of the debate. He said, the casino issue aside, he thought the IDA abatement policy for tourist destination projects should be reconsidered because, “eight years of no taxes is excessive.”
Specifically regarding the casino issue, he said that not granting abatements might make an application more competitive because that would bring the application more in line with the legislation regarding the creation of casinos. On the other hand, lenders might be looking for tax abatements before they would commit to a project, and without lenders there are no projects.
Cohen said, “I think we should encourage a healthy debate. I don’t know the answer.”